I'm beginning to think I could happily eat southeast/south asian food every day for the rest of my life. the sweet/salty/sour/hot combo really does something for my soul (formal props to cool aunt lynn for introducing me to thai in santa cruz a million years ago).
we needed something to go with a coriander mint pappardelle from pasta & co, and jam's laab recipe was perfect. it's full-fledged summer here, and cooking becomes something of a challenge, as sticking it out in the kitchen for longer than the egg timer is painful. salads and light pastas are pretty much standard protocol for the next few months. this recipe, which took no more than 5 minutes of stove time, will most definitely go into the rotation. bulk chicken sausage from the local market cut down on prep time. we also added the last half of a pre-dinner snacking cucumber from the garden. it was so good I truly looked forward to having the leftovers at lunch.
modified from original recipe, here.
5 oz chicken, pork or beef
2 pinches salt (one for seasoning meat, one for the stock)
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
3 tbsp stock
1 generous pinch of white sugar
3 tbsp lime juice
1 pinch chili flakes
1 tbsp fish sauce
3 shallots, sliced thin
handful of fresh mint and cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/2 seedless cucumber, finely chopped or julienned
1 tbsp ground toasted rice*
mince chicken with salt and garlic. heat stock or water and season with salt and sugar. add chicken and stir often, until just cooked. remove from heat. season with lime juice, chili flakes and fish sauce. mix in shallots, cucumber and herbs and sprinkle with toasted rice. toss with pasta ans a little reserved pasta water...and done!
*the ground rice added a nice texture but isn't necessary if you're rushed. it can be toasted in a pan if you're reluctant to turn the oven to 400. toast until golden and your kitchen smells of popcorn. if you haven't any "glutenous" (sweet) rice, jam recommends sushi rice. grind in a clean coffee grinder, or with mortar and pestle.